‘Precursor to something major’: Pig’s head dumped outside Islamic school in Australia
A backpack adorned with a swastika and containing the pig’s head was dropped at the front gates of the Islamic College of Brisbane, one of the largest Islamic educational facilities in the Australian state of Queensland, on the night between Tuesday and Wednesday.
The head was discovered by school staff members early in the morning on Wednesday, just hours before the pupils, some as young as five, were due to pass through the gate.
The incident was captured on CCTV. The footage shows a blue Subaru WRX driving up to the front gates, with someone in the passenger seat throwing the backpack with the head onto the ground, Australia’s AAP news agency reports.
Queensland police confirmed the incident at the school, which is in the southern Karawatha suburb of Brisbane, adding that it is being still investigated and no further information is available at present.
“A call was received from an educational facility on Acacia Rd, Karawatha, shortly before 9am this morning following the discovery of a backpack containing decaying meat,” a police spokesman said, as cited by AAP.
According to some reports, a part of the car number plate was also recorded by CCTV.
In the meantime, Ali Kadri, the acting chairman of the college and president of the Islamic Council of Queensland, said that the local Muslim community is concerned about the incident.
“The community is afraid because these incidents can be a precursor to something major, something bigger,” he said, as cited by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.
"People targeting the vulnerable members of the Muslim community, be it women or kids, is just a disgusting act of cowardice,” he added.
He went on to accuse right-wing politicians of spreading hatred and demonizing Muslims, and thus provoking such incidents. He also compared their actions with Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) propaganda.
“Right-wing extremists including some politicians and shock jocks who demonise Islamic schools are responsible for this,” he said in a Facebook post.
“If ISIS is going to do propaganda and target Muslims to make them do stupid actions, I think people like ... Pauline Hanson are doing the same thing,” he said later, referring to the leader of the Australian right-wing populist One Nation party, as reported by the Australian newspaper.
A former student of the school, Yassmin Abdel-Magied, took to Twitter to express her anger over the issue.
I'm just so sorry. I'm so so sorry we have to live in a world where kids can't go to school in Australia without being shamed and threatened— Yassmin Abdel-Magied (@yassmin_a) July 19, 2017
And then, this?! How is a parent supposed to explain to a kid why people hate them?— Yassmin Abdel-Magied (@yassmin_a) July 19, 2017
Ach this rant will achieve nothing tangible.
It is not the first such attack targeting Muslims in Australia. Another pig’s head was left outside a mosque in Holland Park in the south of Brisbane in 2015. A mosque in the western part of the city was also targeted in two arson attacks the same year, local media report.
In June 2016, a pig’s head and anti-Muslim graffiti were found at the entrance of a mosque in Perth. Just days later, the nearby Thornlie Islamic College was targeted in an arson attack, the Australian reports.